The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association are closing the gap on negotiation demands. The latest offer by the PMA includes higher wages, continuation of a fully paid health care package and jurisdiction over maintenance and repair of truck chassis.
The ILWU said a contract agreement is “extremely close” and the few issues that remain can be “easily resolved.”
The negotiations, that have been ongoing for nearly nine months, have been fraught with allegations and accusations from both parties. The PMA has blamed the ILWU for initiating slowdowns that have crippled West Coast ports. The ILWU says port congestion crisis is employer-caused, due in part to chassis issues.
Whatever the reason, the gridlock at West Coast ports has reached crisis stage. Applying further pressure on the negotiations, PMA CEO James McKenna said in a press conference on Wednesday that the ports are in danger of a lockout within the next five to ten days if an agreement is not reached.
Despite the acrimonious negotiations, both sides agree that keeping the ports open and cargo moving is in the best interest of the U.S. economy.
In a press release on Wednesday, the ILWU “pledged to keep the ports open and keep cargo flowing, despite the massive, employer-caused congestion crisis that has delayed shipping for most of 2014.”
“The deteriorating situation on the docks is in nobody’s long-term interest,” said PMA President Jim McKenna. “I hope the ILWU leadership will give very serious consideration to this contract offer, which I believe respects their members and gives us a clear path to conclude these talks. We owe it to workers and businesses across the nation to resolve our differences and get our ports moving again.”
Sandy WilliamsRead more from Sandy Williams
Latest in Economy
CRU: The 2024 US elections – What it means for policy
The US presidential elections will take place on Nov. 5, 2024.
Dodge Momentum Index inches down in November
The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) slipped in November due to a general decrease in slightly weaker commercial and institutional activity, according to the latest Dodge Construction Network (DCN) data.
Manufacturing sector feels squeeze in November: ISM
Activity in the US manufacturing sector contracted once again in November.
Fed Beige Book: Economic activity slows in many districts
In its Beige Book report released on Nov. 29, the Federal Reserve noted slower economic activity since October's report.
American steel firms’ fundamentals sound for 2024: Fitch
Sector fundamentals for US steel companies remain solid overall, according to ratings agency Fitch’s 2024 outlook report.